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justinsaneok
04-13-2011, 19:41
Dillon RL 550 with Dillon Dies. What is this machine capable of? I'm getting some very different lengths. I load 9mm and .40 and both have the same problem. When I load 9mm I'm going for a COAL of 1.15 and am getting anything from 1.14 to 1.19 in .40 cal I'm gunning for 1.20 and getting anything from 1.17 to 1.22! How close should I be getting to my mark with this press. I was told this is okay by two people at Dillon. Am I being OCD with this? I was really excited about cranking ammo out on this bad boy but don't want to waste bullets loading ammo that isn't as accurate as it could be. Is there a certain person I need to talk to there?
To rule out a few known possibilities
Shell plate is tight, dies are all tight,
seater is die is clean,
I'm using the round nose stem for round nose,
I set the dies with cases in the shell plate,
I'm using all the same Winchester brass,
I pull the handle the same( all the way down till it stops)every time,
my sizing die is screwed down finger tight to the shell plate (I had tried it with the die just off the shell plate too with same results),
I took out all the slop from the seating stem by putting a o ring under the clip to hold the stem up all the way,
the press is mounted firmly on a sturdy bench thats mounted to the wall and screwed to the floor,
I can't find any slop in the machine anywhere,
ram head seems to be straight,
I will not accept this as okay or even close to okay. I was told by two different people that I'm off 5 thousandths and thats really good. I told them the lengths over the phone as I measured and didn't catch the mis communication on the hundredths and thousandths. I called back and read the numbers again and he said that was great. I'm good at under 5 thousandths so I told him after the decimal point the first number was the tenth and the second number was the hundredths and the third was the thousandths he was talking about. I said it's 5 hundredths and it wasn't good at all.

freedom790
04-13-2011, 19:45
your die presses against the ogive, instead of against the tip of the bullet? If you have inconsistency in the bullet's shape, about in the range of the .03" you are listing, it could be that your bullets are the same length in relation to where the ogive contacts the rifling/chamber/however-you-have-it-set. If your ammunition shoots well, cycles your gun, and doesn't show pressure, then I'd say just leave the load be and continue loading it.

justinsaneok
04-13-2011, 19:52
It shoots good and cycles good out of two guns I tested it in. Gen 4 G17 and a RTF2 G22 with lone wolf conversion barrel. It is Rainier 115 gr over 4.6 gr of 231 I figured if it got in the lone wolf and out of the Gen 4 17 it should be good but was wondering how close you can get on a progressive like the 550? Is anyone getting them dead on every time?:dunno:

Boxerglocker
04-13-2011, 20:03
First make sure when you adjust you dies that you use the same type of brass and when you tightened them down all stations have sheels in them and the ram is fully raised. Secondly ensure yoou have enough flair prior to seating bullets so that they seat as straight as possible. Try those recommendations and report back.
FYI, I use a Redding competion seating die and Dillons in the rest of the station. My OAL varience is 0.002 +/- with FMJ's 0.005 with Moly covered lead.

fredj338
04-13-2011, 20:12
First make sure when you adjust you dies that you use the same type of brass and when you tightened them down all stations have sheels in them and the ram is fully raised. Secondly ensure yoou have enough flair prior to seating bullets so that they seat as straight as possible. Try those recommendations and report back.
FYI, I use a Redding competion seating die and Dillons in the rest of the station. My OAL varience is 0.002 +/- with FMJ's 0.005 with Moly covered lead.

^This^ The bullet ogive will vary, even w/ the best bullets. Your OAL will also vary if loading mixed brass. New brass has more csae neck tension than old brass & thick brass resists mroe than thin. You will never get them perfect. The best you can do is use a seating die w/ hollow seating plug, so it seats using the ogive & not the noe, use all the same headstamped brass all fired the same number of times. That will get you withing 0.005". Also taking the slack out of your tool head will help.

XDRoX
04-13-2011, 20:16
Have you tried measuring the bullets? Last time I measured Rainier bullets I was not impressed with their consistency.

justinsaneok
04-13-2011, 20:25
First make sure when you adjust you dies that you use the same type of brass and when you tightened them down all stations have sheels in them and the ram is fully raised. Secondly ensure yoou have enough flair prior to seating bullets so that they seat as straight as possible. Try those recommendations and report back.
FYI, I use a Redding competion seating die and Dillons in the rest of the station. My OAL varience is 0.002 +/- with FMJ's 0.005 with Moly covered lead.

I might be guilty of not enough bell. I am using the same once fired brass and set the head up with shells in the plate and the plate in the raised position.

justinsaneok
04-13-2011, 20:27
Have you tried measuring the bullets? Last time I measured Rainier bullets I was not impressed with their consistency.

I measured the width, only on the base. Never measured length.

Boxerglocker
04-13-2011, 21:00
^This^ The bullet ogive will vary, even w/ the best bullets. Your OAL will also vary if loading mixed brass. New brass has more csae neck tension than old brass & thick brass resists mroe than thin. You will never get them perfect. The best you can do is use a seating die w/ hollow seating plug, so it seats using the ogive & not the noe, use all the same headstamped brass all fired the same number of times. That will get you withing 0.005". Also taking the slack out of your tool head will help.

Oh, I do use a Uniquetek toolhead clamp kit but following directions in my first reply will get you just as close.

Colorado4Wheel
04-13-2011, 21:06
Dillon RL 550 with Dillon Dies having COL ranging from 1.1350 to 1.1650? I want perfection. Is it possible? I pull the handle the same way every time. FWIW I have a Centech Digital Mic and I'm using the flat part above the machined edge. What the heck is going on?

Thats a .030" Difference. Something is very wrong. Very, very wrong. My cheap arse Lee dies give me .005" variance with mixed brass and my own cast bullets. Same results with Montana Gold bullets. Your variance would be easy to see with the naked eye. That is not normal at all. Are you pulling the handle FULLY every time?

justinsaneok
04-14-2011, 15:33
Thats a .030" Difference. Something is very wrong. Very, very wrong. My cheap arse Lee dies give me .005" variance with mixed brass and my own cast bullets. Same results with Montana Gold bullets. Your variance would be easy to see with the naked eye. That is not normal at all. Are you pulling the handle FULLY every time?

Yes I am.

Colorado4Wheel
04-14-2011, 16:21
Then you need to figure out why. No reason for that at all. Check the seating stem.

justinsaneok
04-14-2011, 17:16
Then you need to figure out why. No reason for that at all. Check the seating stem.

I did look at the stem looks fine not even dirty. I thought I had the thing backwards because it is made for two bullet shapes. Not the case.

ron59
04-14-2011, 17:28
My 550 oal
is good to. 005"ish easy

justinsaneok
04-14-2011, 17:44
My 550 oal
is good to. 005"ish easy

Thanks Ron. Are you using Dillon Dies?

ron59
04-14-2011, 19:39
Thanks Ron. Are you using Dillon Dies?

I started off that way, and still had the same results. I am currently using a Lee resizing die, as I think it sizes the base a little better. Also using the Redding Micrometer seating die, primarily as it's so easy to "dial in" a desired OAL.

And of course the Dillon PTX (powder through expander).

vtducrider
04-14-2011, 19:57
I get +/5 mils with lead bullets, and +/-3 with FMJ's. RL550, with Dillon dies. Is your base plate too loose?

PhantomF4E
04-14-2011, 20:06
Case tension should not matter in regards to overall case length. Resistance maybe, but not affecting oal. Case length is going to be the distance from your case holder to your seating die and theoretically will never vary by much. Unless it gets dirt or buildup in the die. You have a mechanical problem somewhere in the seating process. Since your die is locked tight you got to look at the moving parts something is inconsistent and not doing the same thing each and everytime.

Colorado4Wheel
04-14-2011, 20:09
Something is wrong with your seater. Call Dillon.

PhantomF4E
04-14-2011, 20:13
.030 deviation is going to definately open up your groups at the range as well. Unless you mic the rounds after you are done and group them by length. If it's just general range time, no biggie, but if you want precision, that ain't precision. Also if you are at the high end of your loads that .030 could lead to some over pressure.

justinsaneok
04-14-2011, 21:27
Something is wrong with your seater. Call Dillon.

I called they told me to make sure my sizing die is firmly screwed down into the shell plate by hand. Asked me if the seating die stem moves up and down where the clip is. It does so he said to put an o ring between the stem and clip to hold the stem up in the die. I can't really see how the slack in the seating die wouldn't be taken out when the bullet is being pressed in. I guess it might bind and not go up every time. ????:dunno:

ron59
04-15-2011, 07:55
I called they told me to make sure my sizing die is firmly screwed down into the shell plate by hand. Asked me if the seating die stem moves up and down where the clip is. It does so he said to put an o ring between the stem and clip to hold the stem up in the die. I can't really see how the slack in the seating die wouldn't be taken out when the bullet is being pressed in. I guess it might bind and not go up every time. ????:dunno:

I really don't follow your post here, but the part I bolded sounds to me like you think that the seater die alone controls the OAL. I've found that always having a case in station 1 (resizing) is crucial to getting consistent results at the seating station.

I *always* have a case in station 1 if I'm doing adjustments to the other dies, and while running rounds through while reloading. Even at the very end, when I'm out of primers, I'll have an empty case in station 1 while running that last case around the other stations.

justinsaneok
04-15-2011, 19:20
I should have been more clear when I started this thread. I followed instructions when setting up my press and tool head. I always keep the shell plate full of shells, pull the handle the same way, all the way! I am using the same brass and even If I didn't keep the shell plate full I would only have like 4 , well 2 that would be different from the rest. Doing all the things Dillon told me to do this is my results loading 200 .40 cal.
1.11750 to 1.12350
About 100 where between 1.11950 and 1.12150
The other half where outside this spectrum 1.11950 and 1.12150
Thats piss poor In my book!

justinsaneok
04-15-2011, 19:32
I really don't follow your post here, but the part I bolded sounds to me like you think that the seater die alone controls the OAL. I've found that always having a case in station 1 (resizing) is crucial to getting consistent results at the seating station.

I *always* have a case in station 1 if I'm doing adjustments to the other dies, and while running rounds through while reloading. Even at the very end, when I'm out of primers, I'll have an empty case in station 1 while running that last case around the other stations.

Me too I keep them all full . About the seater die, there is a clip that holds the stem in the die that had up and down movement and I was told to take out the movement by Dillon with an o ring under the clip and was told it would help. My thinking is the slack in the stem is taken out every time a bullet is pushed in the case by the stem. The slack is first removed so it should make no difference whether it is held up by a o ring or pushed up by the bullet seating in the case. UNless it is binding sometimes. So If you kept the slack out by adding the o ring it can't possibly not go up because it's already there in the up position. I don't think it holds true but did it anyway to see if it helped. It didn't.:faint:

Boxerglocker
04-15-2011, 19:36
I was just looking at my press set-up and Dillon dies. The only thing that I could possibly think of is your either camming on your sizing or seater die just slightly causing you issue. Are you sure that either of those dies are not hitting the shellplate when in the up position?

justinsaneok
04-15-2011, 19:53
I was just looking at my press set-up and Dillon dies. The only thing that I could possibly think of is your either camming on your sizing or seater die just slightly causing you issue. Are you sure that either of those dies are not hitting the shellplate when in the up position?

Boxer I had my sizer set up to be about .002 off the shell plate because I didn't want to run it on the plate. Just barely off the plate when tight because I didn't want to bottom out on any dies so I would run out of ram and not flex the plate because of a die. So Dillon told me to run the size die to the shell plate hand tight with the ram up then tighten the lock ring so I did. It didn't help.

Boxerglocker
04-15-2011, 20:51
Then the ONLY thing it could possible be is your Seater die / stem.
One more thing. Have you thoroughly cleaned your seater die and stem, make sure the vent hole is clear and put it in either with no lube, or a dry film lube only. Try that. If it don't work as Dillon for a replacement seater die.

justinsaneok
04-15-2011, 21:05
Then the ONLY thing it could possible be is your Seater die / stem.
One more thing. Have you thoroughly cleaned your seater die and stem, make sure the vent hole is clear and put it in either with no lube, or a dry film lube only. Try that. If it don't work as Dillon for a replacement seater die.

It's clean and dry no lube at all other than the silicone cloth I wiped it off with. It's happening with the 9mm and the .40 cal seating die so I think it's something else. Also I have the shell plate as tight as possible so it clicks but it seems like the bolt might be bent because every full rotation the shell plate doesn't make the click one time, three times it clicks but not four. If it's loose enough to click 4 times it's to loose.

PCJim
04-15-2011, 22:10
It's clean and dry no lube at all other than the silicone cloth I wiped it off with. It's happening with the 9mm and the .40 cal seating die so I think it's something else. Also I have the shell plate as tight as possible so it clicks but it seems like the bolt might be bent because every full rotation the shell plate doesn't make the click one time, three times it clicks but not four. If it's loose enough to click 4 times it's to loose.

Those last two statements have me wondering why you are not feeling the indent on all four positions of the shellplate. Have you removed the shellplate and looked at the underside to see if there are four indents? If not, this could explain the variance on 25% of the cases.

justinsaneok
04-15-2011, 22:12
Those last two statements have me wondering why you are not feeling the indent on all four positions of the shellplate. Have you removed the shellplate and looked at the underside to see if there are four indents? If not, this could explain the variance on 25% of the cases.

Ya I looked at it all looks good to the naked eye.

justinsaneok
04-23-2011, 19:27
Well I started to load some 9MM last night and got pissed. My OAL is from 1.15 to 1.195 !!! Sweet, not the precision I was hoping for. I talked to Dillon and they said thats fine. I say bull****! I think there was mis communication some where because my understanding is .0 is tenth and .00 is hundredths and .000 is thousandths. From what I got after my 3 hours of sleep filled with OAL nightmares Tim at Dillon had me thinking .00 is thousandths. I gave him the numbers as I measured with a digital micrometer. I think we both should have drank more coffee. There is some thing very wrong here. To be off 5 hundredths is not good at all.:crying:

PhantomF4E
04-23-2011, 20:31
Nope. Not good. Back to the drawing board.

PCJim
04-23-2011, 20:33
J, something is definitely not right. Since it is happening on both your 9 and 40 reloading dies, I don't believe it it the actual die. Some possibilities are that it could be the method you are using to set up the seating dies, a problem with the shellplate structure or toolhead flex, or quite possibly your measuring device. Regardless, you can easily obtain a very consistent COL with a 550b when everything is right.

My digital scale started going nutz on me a week ago while I was measuring groupings from my rifle loads. Although I expected the display to begin flashing to indicate a low battery, it did not do so. It began jumping from sae to metrics, and giving readings that were obviously wrong. A new battery fixed that problem.

Try this on your seating die. Screw the seating die out of the toolhead a couple of rounds, then screw the seating plug mandrel in to the depth needed to be able to seat your bullet. I am trying to get you to eliminate any case flaring removal in the event the cases themselves are somehow effecting the operation of the die, concentrating solely on the seater plug. Seat four or five bullets and measure them. Also, take those 4-5 rounds and stand them up on your benchtop. Use a straight edge across the tops to "see" any variance between them. This might prove whether your micrometer is off. You will see a definite gap if your bullets are still varying .03 or more.

PhantomF4E
04-23-2011, 20:40
Good point Jim Good Mic skills and or mic quality may be a factor. Justin have you tried multiple measuring tools ? Or verified your measurments on more than one Mic ?

justinsaneok
04-23-2011, 20:54
J, something is definitely not right. Since it is happening on both your 9 and 40 reloading dies, I don't believe it it the actual die. Some possibilities are that it could be the method you are using to set up the seating dies, a problem with the shellplate structure or toolhead flex, or quite possibly your measuring device. Regardless, you can easily obtain a very consistent COL with a 550b when everything is right.

My digital scale started going nutz on me a week ago while I was measuring groupings from my rifle loads. Although I expected the display to begin flashing to indicate a low battery, it did not do so. It began jumping from sae to metrics, and giving readings that were obviously wrong. A new battery fixed that problem.

Try this on your seating die. Screw the seating die out of the toolhead a couple of rounds, then screw the seating plug mandrel in to the depth needed to be able to seat your bullet. I am trying to get you to eliminate any case flaring removal in the event the cases themselves are somehow effecting the operation of the die, concentrating solely on the seater plug. Seat four or five bullets and measure them. Also, take those 4-5 rounds and stand them up on your benchtop. Use a straight edge across the tops to "see" any variance between them. This might prove whether your micrometer is off. You will see a definite gap if your bullets are still varying .03 or more.

I checked my mic against 3 others my buddies had and they all where the same. I got the same results 5 times setting up the tool heads. Twice on .40 cal and 3 times on 9mm. The problem is not my way of doing things. I followed directions and I'm not even checking the OAL till I load 5 or 10 . The problem is in both loading .40 and 9mm. I did a few things Dillon said and nothing worked. The tool head is a sloppy fit. It's like the ram is bent or something or I got two bad seater dies. They were bought at the same time.

justinsaneok
04-23-2011, 20:57
Good point Jim Good Mic skills and or mic quality may be a factor. Justin have you tried multiple measuring tools ? Or verified your measurments on more than one Mic ?

I checked all the common sense stuff before I even started this thread. I can't figure it out. I wish I had other bullets to try.

PCJim
04-23-2011, 20:57
If your friends are reloading 9 and/or 40, ask to borrow their seating die. Manufacturer doesn't matter. Set it up in your press and see what happens. This would eliminate your dies (which I don't believe is the problem since it is with two different dies). You've already eliminated any potential mic problem, so if not the dies it has to be something with the press.

You could also take a video of the press - pictures (video) is worth a thousand words......

justinsaneok
04-23-2011, 21:01
If your friends are reloading 9 and/or 40, ask to borrow their seating die. Manufacturer doesn't matter. Set it up in your press and see what happens. This would eliminate your dies (which I don't believe is the problem since it is with two different dies). You've already eliminated any potential mic problem, so if not the dies it has to be something with the press.

You could also take a video of the press - pictures (video) is worth a thousand words......

I'm the only one around here reloading 9mm or 40. I wish I did.

justinsaneok
04-23-2011, 21:03
This is crazy!

justinsaneok
04-23-2011, 21:10
Nobody has ever had this happen? I can't help but think some thing is bent, shell plate, bolt or the ram head? Maybe something is is cracked I can't see.

rivardj
04-23-2011, 21:16
Are you loading Rainer in both .40 cal and 9 mm?

Are the bullets the Rainer hollow point version?

Line up 10 or so of each caliber and compare bullet to bullet variation for the length and shape of the bullet. If both calibers are Rainer and especially if they are the hollow points, I think you will find that your problem lies in the bullets themselves.

I purchase a box of the Rainer 115 gr hollow point 9 mm bullets from Cabela's and had the same problem you are having. Rainer's quality control stinks in my opinion. I switched to Montana Gold and have no problems now with OAL.

PCJim
04-23-2011, 21:19
Justin, where are you located, and how did you acquire this press? I know this is extremely frustrating to you. Try to be patient - you will get it figured out.

justinsaneok
04-23-2011, 21:38
Justin, where are you located, and how did you acquire this press? I know this is extremely frustrating to you. Try to be patient - you will get it figured out.

I bought it used. I looks brand spanken new however. The guy who sold it seemed pissed about the primer system on it. He just needed to adjust the damn thing, I had no problem with that although I switched it to run small primers. I should have got a new one from BE but this one fell out of the sky so it seemed meant to be. I live in Oklahoma and everyone I know loads calibers different than mine.

engineermike
04-24-2011, 20:08
I would check your shell plate a little closer if you don't find the dies to be the problem. You might number the cases as you put them in (I believe each case goes onto the shell plate at different areas) after running two or three cycles measure all the ones, the twos, the threes, and so on and see if the corresponding numbers measure the same. You can also watch the shell plate as you load and see if it is flexing or not rotating evenly. You can also try taking the press apart and putting it back together, and looking at the parts for wear and tear or not being adjusted properly.

texas 48
04-24-2011, 21:28
make sure your shell plate is tight and your press is rock solid on the down stroke. Even if everything is tight slight variations in handle pull can take u off. I was having similar issues until I did thethings I mentioned above. I am now getting + - .003 which I believe is the best I can expect and considered normal with new brass + - .005 with used brass.

justinsaneok
04-25-2011, 21:31
make sure your shell plate is tight and your press is rock solid on the down stroke. Even if everything is tight slight variations in handle pull can take u off. I was having similar issues until I did thethings I mentioned above. I am now getting + - .003 which I believe is the best I can expect and considered normal with new brass + - .005 with used brass.

Mi shell plate is tight as I can get it. It doesn't rock and spins. I wish I was worrying about thousandths. I wouldn't care but hundredths is something to ***** about. Everything seems solid.:crying:

G36pilot
04-26-2011, 08:08
Is there a possibility of seater die contact points slightly compressing the plated bullet itself?

When using the incorrect plug I'd noticed a slight ring around the bullet (Rainier plated) which did affect COL consistency w/mixed brass. Perhaps this can happen with the correct plug is there is an issue elsewhere w/the reloader.

Pull two bullets off the extreme variance COL cartridges and mic those?

justinsaneok
04-27-2011, 20:46
Is there a possibility of seater die contact points slightly compressing the plated bullet itself?

When using the incorrect plug I'd noticed a slight ring around the bullet (Rainier plated) which did affect COL consistency w/mixed brass. Perhaps this can happen with the correct plug is there is an issue elsewhere w/the reloader.

Pull two bullets off the extreme variance COL cartridges and mic those?

I took this thing apart and put it back together. I cant find anything wrong with it. :dunno:I think the bullets have something to do with it. I will be messing with this tonight when I get home. Last night I measured a few bullets and the seater plug and they were all different and thats with picking through and finding some that were measuring .560 long. So I have a problem right there. Bullets that are the same size aren't fitting in the plug at the same depth. All of the bullets are off buy .005 and thats not much. Not enough to get me this far off. I checked 50 bullets to get 7 the same OAL. LOL :faint:

GioaJack
04-27-2011, 20:50
If you want to eliminate the seater stem design as the root of your problem simply modify it for the exact bullets you're trying to seat.

Use either epoxy or JB Weld to make a duplicate nose configuration on the end of the seating stem then seat and measure the OAL... that will tell you if the stem was the problem.


Jack

rivardj
04-27-2011, 20:56
I don't know if you have a shop near by that you can purchase a box of quality jacketed bullets such as Hornady, Remington or Speer, for example, and try loading up to 100 of those bullets. If they load with a close tolerance COL you will then know that the Rainers are the issue. Last time I purchased Hornady bullets they were under $20.00 for a box of 100. I like using Hornady bullets.

Also, with the Rainers it may not be just the length that is the issue. The ones I had were all different contours in the area of the ogive. Some looked nice and streamline and others were squished and plum looking.

Good luck!